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Why travel should be considered an essential human activity

Travel is not rational, but it’s in our genes. Here’s why you should start planning a trip now.

Two women gaze at heavy surf while lying on boulders on the coast.

In 1961, legendary National Geographic photographer Volkmar Wentzel captured two women gazing at the surf off Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. This and all the other images in this story come from the National Geographic image collection.

I’ve been putting my passport to good use lately. I use it as a coaster and to level wobbly table legs. It makes an excellent cat toy.

Welcome to the pandemic of disappointments. Canceled trips, or ones never planned lest they be canceled. Family reunions, study-abroad years, lazy beach vacations. Poof. Gone. Obliterated by a tiny virus, and the long list of countries where United States passports are not welcome.

Only a third of Americans say they have traveled overnight for leisure since March, and only slightly more, 38 percent, say they are likely to do so by the end of the year, according to one report. Only a quarter of us plan on leaving home for Thanksgiving, typically the busiest travel time. The numbers paint a grim picture of our stilled lives.

It is not natural for us to be this sedentary. Travel is in our genes. For most of the time our species has existed, “we’ve lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers moving about in small bands of 150 or fewer people,” writes Christopher Ryan in Civilized to Death . This nomadic life was no accident. It was useful. “Moving to a neighboring band is always an option to avoid brewing conflict or just for a change in social scenery,” says Ryan. Robert Louis Stevenson put it more succinctly: “The great affair is to move.”

What if we can’t move, though? What if we’re unable to hunt or gather? What’s a traveler to do? There are many ways to answer that question. “Despair,” though, is not one of them.

wall-to-wall seaside sunbathers in Ocean City, Maryland

In this aerial view from 1967, wall-to-wall seaside sunbathers relax under umbrellas or on beach towels in Ocean City, Maryland .

During a fall festival, each state shows off its costumes and dances.

A 1967 fall festival in Guadalajara, Mexico , starred traditionally costumed musicians and dancers.

We are an adaptive species. We can tolerate brief periods of forced sedentariness. A dash of self-delusion helps. We’re not grounded, we tell ourselves. We’re merely between trips, like the unemployed salesman in between opportunities. We pass the days thumbing though old travel journals and Instagram feeds. We gaze at souvenirs. All this helps. For a while.

We put on brave faces. “Staycation Nation,” the cover of the current issue of Canadian Traveller magazine declares cheerfully, as if it were a choice, not a consolation.

Today, the U.S. Travel Association, the industry trade organization, is launching a national recovery campaign called “ Let’s Go There .” Backed by a coalition of businesses related to tourism—hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, airlines—the initiative’s goal is to encourage Americans to turn idle wanderlust into actual itineraries.

The travel industry is hurting. So are travelers. “I dwelled so much on my disappointment that it almost physically hurt,” Paris -based journalist Joelle Diderich told me recently, after canceling five trips last spring.

(Related: How hard has the coronavirus hit the travel industry? These charts tell us.)

My friend James Hopkins is a Buddhist living in Kathmandu . You’d think he’d thrive during the lockdown, a sort-of mandatory meditation retreat. For a while he did.

But during a recent Skype call, James looked haggard and dejected. He was growing restless, he confessed, and longed “for the old 10-countries-a-year schedule.” Nothing seemed to help, he told me. “No matter how many candles I lit, or how much incense I burned, and in spite of living in one of the most sacred places in South Asia, I just couldn’t change my habits.”

When we ended our call, I felt relieved, my grumpiness validated. It’s not me; it’s the pandemic. But I also worried. If a Buddhist in Kathmandu is going nuts, what hope do the rest of us stilled souls have?

I think hope lies in the very nature of travel. Travel entails wishful thinking. It demands a leap of faith, and of imagination, to board a plane for some faraway land, hoping, wishing, for a taste of the ineffable. Travel is one of the few activities we engage in not knowing the outcome and reveling in that uncertainty. Nothing is more forgettable than the trip that goes exactly as planned.

Related: Vintage photos of the glamour of travel

short article on travel

Travel is not a rational activity. It makes no sense to squeeze yourself into an alleged seat only to be hurled at frightening speed to a distant place where you don’t speak the language or know the customs. All at great expense. If we stopped to do the cost-benefit analysis, we’d never go anywhere. Yet we do.

That’s one reason why I’m bullish on travel’s future. In fact, I’d argue travel is an essential industry, an essential activity. It’s not essential the way hospitals and grocery stores are essential. Travel is essential the way books and hugs are essential. Food for the soul. Right now, we’re between courses, savoring where we’ve been, anticipating where we’ll go. Maybe it’s Zanzibar and maybe it’s the campground down the road that you’ve always wanted to visit.

(Related: Going camping this fall? Here’s how to get started.)

James Oglethorpe, a seasoned traveler, is happy to sit still for a while, and gaze at “the slow change of light and clouds on the Blue Ridge Mountains” in Virginia, where he lives. “My mind can take me the rest of the way around this world and beyond it.”

It’s not the place that is special but what we bring to it and, crucially, how we interact with it. Travel is not about the destination, or the journey. It is about stumbling across “a new way of looking at things,” as writer Henry Miller observed. We need not travel far to gain a fresh perspective.

No one knew this better than Henry David Thoreau , who lived nearly all of his too-short life in Concord, Massachusetts. There he observed Walden Pond from every conceivable vantage point: from a hilltop, on its shores, underwater. Sometimes he’d even bend over and peer through his legs, marveling at the inverted world. “From the right point of view, every storm and every drop in it is a rainbow,” he wrote.

Thoreau never tired of gazing at his beloved pond, nor have we outgrown the quiet beauty of our frumpy, analog world. If anything, the pandemic has rekindled our affection for it. We’ve seen what an atomized, digital existence looks like, and we (most of us anyway) don’t care for it. The bleachers at Chicago ’s Wrigley Field; the orchestra section at New York City ’s Lincoln Center; the alleyways of Tokyo . We miss these places. We are creatures of place, and always will be.

After the attacks of September 11, many predicted the end of air travel, or at least a dramatic reduction. Yet the airlines rebounded steadily and by 2017 flew a record four billion passengers. Briefly deprived of the miracle of flight, we appreciated it more and today tolerate the inconvenience of body scans and pat-downs for the privilege of transporting our flesh-and-bone selves to far-flung locations, where we break bread with other incarnate beings.

Colorful designs surrounding landscape architect at work in his studio in Rio de Jainero, Brazil

Landscape architects work in their Rio de Janeiro, Brazil , studio in 1955.

A tourist photographs a tall century plant, a member of the agaves.

A tourist photographs a towering century plant in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in 1956.

In our rush to return to the world, we should be mindful of the impact of mass tourism on the planet. Now is the time to embrace the fundamental values of sustainable tourism and let them guide your future journeys. Go off the beaten path. Linger longer in destinations. Travel in the off-season. Connect with communities and spend your money in ways that support locals. Consider purchasing carbon offsets. And remember that the whole point of getting out there is to embrace the differences that make the world so colorful.

“One of the great benefits of travel is meeting new people and coming into contact with different points of view,” says Pauline Frommer, travel expert and radio host.

So go ahead and plan that trip. It’s good for you, scientists say . Plotting a trip is nearly as enjoyable as actually taking one. Merely thinking about a pleasurable experience is itself pleasurable. Anticipation is its own reward.

I’ve witnessed first-hand the frisson of anticipatory travel. My wife, not usually a fan of travel photography, now spends hours on Instagram, gazing longingly at photos of Alpine lodges and Balinese rice fields. “What’s going on?” I asked one day. “They’re just absolutely captivating,” she replied. “They make me remember that there is a big, beautiful world out there.”

Many of us, myself included, have taken travel for granted. We grew lazy and entitled, and that is never good. Tom Swick, a friend and travel writer, tells me he used to view travel as a given. Now, he says, “I look forward to experiencing it as a gift.”

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Our experienced writers travel the world to bring you informative and inspirational features, destination roundups, travel ideas, tips and beautiful photos in order to help you plan your next holiday.

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  • Self-Improvement

Why is Travel Important? Here Are 7 Important Benefits of Traveling

Wondering why travel is an important part of life here are the most impactful benefits of traveling, including health, happiness, and more.

Christian Eilers

As I write this, the world is in the midst of the second wave of the coronavirus crisis. Travel is far below the level it was at back in 2019, and it’ll be some time before it picks back up to pre-pandemic levels.

So, it feels a bit weird to write an article on the benefits of traveling and why travel is important.

But, travel will make a comeback. When it does, health and safety risks will remain. Many fair-weather travelers may be hesitant to return to the skies, roads, rails, and seas. 

However, traveling is important and its benefits far outweigh the risks involved.

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Here are some of the most important benefits of traveling:

1. Travel Makes You Happier

Sure, a travel experience easily makes you happier by getting you away from your daily grind. And, if you can get away from your parents, kids, freelance work , pets, homework, piano lessons, part-time job , studying for exams or any other things possibly weighing you down, that will definitely put a smile on your face, to say the least.

However, travel makes you happier in another way, as well. According to a study by Amit Kumar, Matthew A. Killingsworth, and Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University, that money spent on doing something (called “experiential purchases”) will leave you with a longer-lasting sense of happiness than money spent on having something (called “material purchases”). 

The study says that “waiting for experiences tends to be more positive than waiting for possessions.” And, it goes on to say that “people derive more happiness from the anticipation of experiential purchases and that waiting for an experience tends to be more pleasurable and exciting than waiting to receive a material good.”

Related Read : The Best Work-Life Balance Quotes to Know

2. Travel Lets You Disconnect & Recharge

One of the best things you can do for your mental health every now and again, especially as a busy college student with an evening job or a young professional working 12-hour shifts, is to disconnect in order to recharge.

Working or studying for days, weeks, and months on end may help get you where you’re looking to go. However, you deserve a break every once in a while from the chronic stress. If not, you may suffer from burnout, depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other problems and ailments.

If traveling to a foreign country or experiencing a different culture doesn’t sound like a true break from everyday life and its stressful situations, stay local or do a solo trip to someplace remote and serene. The important thing for your is to unwind. That’s a health benefit and travel tip all rolled into one!

3. Traveling Relieves Stress and Anxiety

In a randomized controlled trial conducted by Austrian researchers and published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , one of the many great travel benefits is that it can reduce stress levels and anxiety.

The researchers found that even just one short-term vacation (~3 days in length) “independent of the mode, has large, positive and immediate effects on perceived stress, recovery, strain, and well-being.” Furthermore, the beneficial effects last quite a while after you return home. “The effects can still be detected at 30 days (recovery) and 45 days (well-being and strain) post-vacation.”

Just make sure the way you travel doesn’t cause you stress, either! If you have a fear of air travel or a disdain for family travel, go by rail or take a solo travel experience. The important thing is to break away from the chronic stress of everyday life in order to calm down and reset your mind.

Related Read : How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve

4. Travel Exposes You to New Things

When you travel, you are stepping outside your comfort zone, for one thing. Even if your destination is relatively nearby (across the country rather than internationally), you are still experiencing new things.

Mark Twain said it best in one of my favorite travel quotes:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

5. Travel Exposes Others to New Things

When you meet someone new, whether it’s in another town nearby or in a city halfway around the world, they also are meeting you. And, just as you’re being exposed to new foods, culture, languages, traditions, and so forth, they’re also getting a taste of yours. Just remember to be a good ambassador for your hometown, values, and beliefs!

When you visit a new place, meet new people, and learn about a new culture, whether through group travel or when traveling solo, the benefit to your life is immense, but it also benefits your friends, family, and other loved ones. Not only will you get to experience new things, but you’ll also bring what you learn back to your school, workplace, and hometown.

Related Read : 15+ Best Educational Podcasts to Listen to for Everyday Learning

6. Travel Makes You Physically Healthier

If you’re an active individual and asking why is travel important, there are some great benefits of traveling in store for you! From running through airports and train stations to make that tight connection to hiking through uneven terrain on your mountain climbing adventures to getting some vitamin D as you catch some rays on the beach, there are many reasons why travel is beneficial to your health.

According to a study by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, travel decreases the risks of heart attacks and makes your brain healthier. The study determined that men who take an annual vacation are 30% less likely to die from heart disease, among other findings.

7. Traveling Can Boost Your Creativity

Are you a student, artist, writer, photographer, chef, advertising manager, or video game designer struggling with coming up with your next great idea? Traveling can help! If you’re looking to reignite your creativity, head on to Kayak and start booking some international flight tickets.

“Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,” Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, tells The Atlantic . Cognitive flexibility plays a major role in overall creativity, defined as the ability for a person to be able to entertain various ideas and viewpoints one after the other.

So, when it’s safe to do so, get back out there and travel.

You’ll improve your happiness and mood, get exposed to new things, strengthen your mind and body, remove stress and anxiety, and so much more!

Got any questions, feedback, or other great reasons why travel is important? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

Related Read : 21+ Growth Mindset Quotes to Know for Success, Happiness & Fulfillment

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1. Traveling broadens your perspective.

2. It allows you to see the world from a different angle.

3. It helps you to learn new things.

4. It makes you more tolerant and understanding

It’s fascinating that you point out that traveling offers a great way to relieve anxiety. I’ve been having a lot of anxiety for the past three months because of my divorce, so I’m considering booking a tour of Europe this summer. I’m going to look for a good business that offers tours of Europe.

Love this Christian, it keeps me do travel multiple times a year. Thank you so much.

I am Ain from Malaysia. I’m looking for contents to be used on my school assignment about travelling and I found your website would be so helpful for me and my group members. In this assignment , we are required to choose our international destination. In this assignment , we are going to make a report paper and two products (brochure and presentation). This work won’t be published online. We would like to include flight ticket to our destination , foods , place to stay , transportation and more. So , here I would like to ask for your permission to use contents from your website. This is the link to the content that me and my group members would like / might to use:

I hope you can approve my permission. That would be great for us!

Thank you very much & stay safe!

Your Privacy

Passport Symphony

The 10 most-read travel articles on Passport Symphony

Another year is coming to its end and it’s time to look back and make a summary. It was a very special year for Passport Symphony. I started the blog in September and we just hit the milestone of 10,000 unique users today! And it’s always a nice way to revive the travel memories of this wonderful year by making a compilation of our top 10 most-read travel articles.

I hope you enjoyed reading our blog so far and that you’ll stick around for many more adventures in the years to come. If you want to stay tuned for the articles I publish then sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of the page. Now, let’s see what did you guys liked reading about the most in the past year!

10) How to recognize ladyboys in Thailand

This was actually one of my very first articles. I was just trying to write something different and have some fun. And it worked. The article doesn’t have a lot to do with travel as it is; it only gives you tips on how to recognize ladyboys when you’re in Thailand. Whether because you want to avoid them or because you want to find them. I have a lot of experience in this field. Please don’t ask how just listen to the pro.

9) 23 bucket list destinations you should go to before you die

places to see before you die

The bucket list post. Every travel blog has at least one. A bit cliche, I know. But I can guarantee my bucket list isn’t the typical ‘7 wonders of the world & Co.’ type. If you like getting lost off the beaten track, then this bucket list can give you some great suggestions. Our planet is, indeed, a magnificent place with countless breathtaking sights waiting to be discovered. Oh boy, was it hard to put only 23 places on this bucket list.

8) The 13 most common scams in Southeast Asia and how to avoid them

10 most read travel articles of 2017

Practically all countries in SE Asia (maybe except Singapore) can be nicknamed the ‘backpacking paradise’. All countries in the region (again except Singapore) are really cheap for accommodation and traveling, have amazing food, and are really safe. However, that doesn’t mean that they are crime-free. Everywhere in the world where there are tourists, there will be scammers too. And people that make a living out of tricking tourists. If you want to visit SE Asia next year, make sure you read this article about the 13 most common scams in Southeast Asia.

7) 28 rookie mistakes all travelers do

rookie mistakes all travelers do

Humans make mistakes. Especially when traveling. Even the most experienced ones. That’s why travel blogs like Passport Symphony are here for. To remind of some things you might forget to do. Or to tell you about some things you should do but didn’t know. When you’re planning your next trip take a look at this comprehensive list of rooky mistakes people do when traveling. Learn from other people’s experience and make sure to make the most out of your trip by not repeating the same mistakes.

6) Travel Hacking 101- What Is It And Can You Do It?

Flight hacks , booking hacks, money exchange hacks, banking hacks, technology hacks. This article has it all. If you don’t believe, go ahead and apply some of these tips on your next trip. You’ll be thanking me later. The quote ‘Traveling is expensive’ is slowly becoming a myth in the 21 st century. You can travel anywhere by spending a lot less money than you think. How? Go ahead and read the article. You won’t regret it.

5) Hanoi: a story about the city of lakes, bikes and beautiful chaos

things to do in hanoi

I honestly didn’t think that a guide about a city will be so high on the list and this comes as a surprise to me too but the Hanoi travel guide made it to top 5. Vietnam is an amazing country, different than anything you saw before. And Hanoi is one of the major reasons why. The city of 8 million people and 8 million bikes. After I visited I think there are even more bikes than people. Some amazing things happened to me in Hanoi. So this guide covers not only the places to see, where to eat, and how to commute but also the best and worst thing that can happen to you in Hanoi, both of which happened to me.

4) Kashmir tales part 4: Pangong Tso and how sleeping in saved my life

10 most read travel articles of 2017

Kashmir was probably my most exciting travel adventure ever. I became the first Macedonian to climb Stok Kangri (6,153 m). Saw some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world. Rode a Bactrian (triple-hump) camel. Got lost in the cold desert. I almost died. Yes! If I didn’t sleep in and miss my bus, I would have gone to Srinagar with the bus that was eventually held captive by the armed rebels in the surroundings of Srinagar . If you’re a fan of adventure, you’ll simply love this article.

3) A few things I wish I knew before traveling to Vietnam


Surprisingly, this is the second article in the top 5 that’s about Vietnam. Vietnam really is an amazing country different than the rest of SE Asia. Simply, there’s no country like it anywhere in the world. Vietnam isn’t so touristy like some of its neighbors but it has some amazing places. Charming village tourism, breathtaking caves, rocky bays, and amazing food. However, be prepared for a massive culture shock. And mastering the art of crossing the street. I’m not joking. You need to be an expert to cross the street. Remember the 8 million bikes of Hanoi? Anyway, I wrote this article to share some important things about Vietnam with people that plan to visit this amazing country in the future. So, good luck.

2) Choosing the best backpacking route in Southeast Asia

The title of this article was too sensational and I always expected to bring a lot of views. And this article didn’t disappoint. It was the second most read article of the year and it brought me a lot of positive comments. If Southeast Asia is part of your plans for the next year make sure to read this article before you go. It will help you save a lot of money and make the most out of your trip.

1) 9 important life lessons India taught me

taj mahal people

To be honest, this is one of my all-time favorite articles too. And I’m glad it got the most reads. India has and always will have a special hart in my heart. I spent a year living as an expat in India. And if Vietnam is a completely different country than anything you ever saw before, I could say India is an entirely different planet. This country was a great challenge for me, but also a great teacher. I went through thick and thin and grew a lot as a person. And no, it’s not a clickbait: India actually taught me some important life lessons. A strongly recommended read for people that want to visit India next year, especially future (and present) expats.

Thursday 19th of May 2022

Hey, your website really amazing and always provides useful tips about different destinations. I bookmarked your site and I check your new posts on a daily basis. Thank you so much

Passport Symphony

Wednesday 1st of June 2022

Thank you for your kind words, Aaron, I really appreciate it.

Georgia Wilson

Wednesday 27th of January 2021

I loved your content! This article is very informative and helpful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Friday 12th of February 2021

Thank you for your kind words, Georgia.

Rushil Verma

Tuesday 12th of March 2019

Some useful travel tips whenever you travel to India.

Wednesday 13th of March 2019

Thank you, Rushil

Monday 4th of March 2019

Wow that's pretty amazing you traveled Southeast Asia with $15 a day! I am not surprised that was your second most popular blog post last year!

Tuesday 5th of March 2019

Thank you, Francesca! Absolutely no surprise there :)

blair villanueva

Monday 11th of February 2019

Your stories are awesome that also points out different perspective. You see what others cannot which makes your blog unique. Keep on sharing stories coz 2019 is another year of more adventures.

Thank you Blair, for reading my stories. I'm really glad you enjoyed them. Thank you for commenting :)

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short article on travel

The first thing I read every morning is travel news. Not because my job or life depend on it, but because it makes me happy . I’d like to share 6 of my latest favorite articles that’ll whisk you away to far off places and leave you dreaming of yoga retreats in Bali. Enjoy!

1. The BBC Travel’s “ Ingenious Story Behind Michelin Stars “ by Anita Isalska

BBC Travel has by FAR the most in-depth and incredibly interesting travel stories on subjects you’ve never even heard of! I love being surprised and learning something new at the same time. Wanna know the “Ingenious Story Behind Michelin Stars” ? Happy reading!

2. Travel + Leisure ‘s “ The Best Yoga Retreats, According to a Yoga Teacher ” By Maria Eilersen

Ever wondered what the best yoga retreats in the world were and dream about your next vacation there? Um…yes ticket for one please! Check out Travel + Leisure’s story (another of my favorites for travel news) on the best yoga retreats around the world .

3. “ 13 Places Where You Can See the Bluest Water in the World ” by Melissa Locker from T+L

I mean who really sits around to compile a list of the bluest water in the world? Travel + Leisure, which is EXACTLY why I love them! My favorite thing is being awe-struck by places I never knew existed. The Maldives is looking pretty nice right about now. Check it out!

Shelley Coar

4. “ How the Finnish Survive without Small Talk ” by Laura Studarus courtesy of BBC Travel

I never knew I was part Finnish, but this article leads me to believe I definitely have some Finnish heritage. I really, really don’t like small talk. Therefore I’m thinking I should move to Finland…except for the frigid cold and the dark winters. Learn “How the Finnish Survive without Small Talk”.

5. “ 11 Bucket List-worthy International Vacations That Are Surprisingly Affordable” by Cailey Rizzo at Travel + Leisure

I highly second Portugal on this list! But Hoi An, Vietnam?? Well I guess I have a new destination to add to my never ending list of exotic and affordable places to visit….

6. “ The Unsolved Mystery of France’s Iconic Loire Valley ” by Adrienne Bernhard at BBC Travel

A great French mystery…..sign me up! “…the Château de Chambord – the largest castle in the Loire Valley and widely considered one of the most impressive examples of French Renaissance and Medieval Revival architecture. But whoever originally imagined the defining features of this great monument remains a mystery…” Keep Reading HERE

I hope you get up wrapped up in some dreamy destination travel news. And until your next trip…

Happy Travels,

Shelley Coar Signature

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***Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.***

Best Short Travel Stories: 15+ Bloggers Share Their Favorite Travelling Story

Table of Contents:

Every tourist has at least a few interesting travel stories to share. The more you are exploring the world, the greater the chance that you have experienced something unique. We’ve asked our blogging friends to share their most memorable experiences. Check out these awesome short travel stories and get inspired!

Best Travel Stories Including Romance

Love at first lettuce.

by Juliette from Snorkels To Snow blog


4 years later the hunky builder became my husband.

Adventure With A Stranger In France

by Barbara from Jet Settera blog


After our short meeting, we kept on chatting for about a month on Facebook and then we decided to meet up in Florence in a hotel room and explore Tuscany together.

We agreed on the itinerary and he flew in from Vienna and I arrived from Milano. We rented a Fiat500 and we traveled all around Tuscany for a long weekend.

We visited some of the most romantic cities in Italy , such as Siena, Lucca, Pisa, and Cinque Terre. It was an amazing adventure together.

We had lots of fun on the trip and we went on more trips after that. The conclusion of the story was that sometimes it is good to come out of your comfort zone and take a chance on a stranger, maybe he will be an excellent travel partner.

Scary Travel Stories That Will Give You Chills!

Jumped by an adult puma in the bolivian jungle  .

by Aaron from The Dharma Trails blog

short article on travel

Cheap, Bolivian vodka . That’s what got me there. Isolated, deep in the Bolivian jungle, with an apex predator wrapped around my body (and hot breath on my face).  

Volunteering at a Bolivian animal sanctuary I saw all kinds of monkey bites and scratches. It was common for backpackers to show off their fresh wounds at the end of each day. But no one had a story like this…

The weekly volunteer party got out of hand (the night before). Those with the appropriate big-animal training didn’t wake up or sign in to the morning’s meeting. I was there. Hungover, but there.   So, I agreed to help out with the puma (even though it normally requires months of training and animal integration/familiarity).

After an hour of trekking through the jungle, one of the team members and I reached the puma’s enclosure. The huge cat growled at me with a distinct sense of dislike. But that didn’t stop us from continuing our task.   We entered the caged area, attached two ropes to the puma’s “collar” and begun to walk him through the jungle.   

The puma, completely unpleased with my intrusion, stepped forward hesitantly. After only a couple of minutes, he stopped, looked back at me, and growled directly into my eyes. I watched helplessly as the puma leaped 10ft into the air towards me. In a split-second, his powerful legs wrapped around my waist, arms wrapped around my throat and fangs pressed into my forehead.  

I heard my team member scream. But I couldn’t move. Completely still, I assumed the worst. Yet, somehow it felt completely natural. The circle of life. The scream faded as I began to lose consciousness. Then, all of a sudden, I was released.   The animal let me go and stepped backwards.  

After swearing profusely, my team member yelled “stick your palm out towards him”. For some reason, I did.   The huge cat stepped back towards me and licked it. And, that was it. He knew that I knew, who was king of the jungle. After that we were friends.  

Volunteering with animals is a great way to give back while you  eco travel . Just be sure to pick places with adequate training if you don’t want to have bad travel stories like mine!

Getting Arrested in Gansu, China

by Wendy from the Nomadic Vegan blog

short article on travel

My short story about my travel experience is from Asia. On our first trip to China , one of the destinations my husband and I were most looking forward to, was visiting the Labrang Monastery. Located in remote Gansu province in the west of China , Labrang is a holy site and a place of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists. 

At that time, neither one of us spoke any Chinese, and we were finding it frustratingly difficult to get where we wanted to go. We didn’t understand why all the bus drivers were refusing to let us get on the buses heading towards the transport hub from where all onward transport to Labrang left.

When one of them finally did let us on, he then forced us to get out on the outskirts of town, well before we reached the bus station. Confused, and not knowing what else to do, we started walking in the direction we thought the station was in. We didn’t get far before two police cars skidded to a halt next to us, and we were suddenly surrounded by six cops wearing S.W.A.T. badges on their sleeves.

They brought us to the head of the prefecture, who luckily was a very friendly Tibetan man who spoke enough English to explain what was happening. Unbeknownst to us, the Chinese government had recently made that part of Gansu off-limits to foreign tourists in light of protests by ethnic Tibetans in the area.

After treating us to a tasty lunch of vegetarian Chinese food , the head of the prefecture drove us back across the prefecture border himself and made sure that we got on a bus back to where we had come from.

We never made it to the Labrang Monastery on that trip, but at that point, we were just happy not to be in a Chinese jail. As I write this, we are in Mongolia, planning to cross back into China in a couple of weeks. We have been told that Labrang has reopened for foreigners, so 10 years later we are going to give it another shot. Hopefully, we don’t get arrested this time and we will only have amazing travel stories to share!

Snake Attack In Vietnam

by Lina from Divergent Travelers blog


We were just about to take a final stretch of country road and head onto highway 1 for the next leg when we saw something in the road ahead of us.

It was up ahead of Jon and it was the kind of thing you couldn’t really tell what it was until you were right on top of it. In an instant, we saw Jon whip his legs up as a huge snake lunged at his leg when his scooter sailed next to it. I was mortified as I am very afraid of snakes. The last thing I wanted was to have this thing striking at me as we cruised by.

We pulled over, laughed, and discussed the size of it while noticing a local man running down the road with a long stick. He was hollering at us excitedly and pointing at the road. Apparently, snakes of that size are worth well over 1.2 million dong and the man was bursting with excitement about catching the venomous beast.

Asking where it went, he moved into the grass at the edge of the rice field in pursuit. The movement caused the snake to flee into the rice paddies and the local man immediately gave chase into what became a dance between him and the snake. Each challenged the other until the man lept to the opportunity and seized the snake by the head with his bare hands.

He smiled proudly as he came back to the road, showed off the snake then as swiftly as he appeared, left us standing there while he made his way down the road back to his house. Snake in hand. You don’t see that every day! It was definitely one of these fun travel stories that we will never forget.

Dangerous Night Trip In Peru

by Danielle from the Like Riding Bicycle blog


Not every travel story is fun. I have many scary travel stories to share, including the one from Peru. Many years ago, when I’d just started traveling , I took a bus going through parts of the Amazon… at night. Apparently, this wasn’t the best call. Around 3 am I was alarmed to wake up to the bus stopped, and a man in a black mask with a huge black gun pointed at us all. He yelled in Spanish and everyone’s hands went up into the air, so I flung mine up following suit. Before long the men were marched off the bus, leaving us women, hands still in the air, to wait for what would come next.

I had a moment in which I thought: “What are they about to do with the men? What are they about to do with the women? What are they about to do with me, the only foreigner on the bus?” I was far from rich, but they didn’t know that.

After some time another man came on the bus, this time with a small silver pistol which he pointed at each of us as he robbed us blind. No one was physically harmed, though I knew that people who weren’t as fortunate to be a Westerner like myself lost more than they could afford to replace, which was a hard thing to realize. I couldn’t help, only sit there with my arms in the air.

So go to Peru – it’s amazing! – just don’t take a night bus through the Amazon!

Mutant Bugs Attack

by Nathan from Foodie Flashpacker blog


Although at the time it happened I wouldn’t have called it my best travelling story, now, looking back on it, it’s one of the best/funniest stories of my nearly three years of traveling. This all took place during my visit to Fez , Morocco in 2016.

The time I survived a direct attack to the face by killer mutant bugs from outer space. And then visited a vagina doctor with the world’s oldest x-ray machine to put my face back together again.

Long story short- one day I woke up with a face full of bug bites. The concerned guest house owner sent me to a pharmacist who then sent me to a doctor.

More specifically, I later learned, was that I had been sent to a gynecologist. We established that some large insects had attacked my face and I was in need of multiple medications. And, for reasons still unknown to me, an x-ray. At least I think he x-rayed me.

Being A Suspect In The Disappearance Of Girl In France

By James from The Portugal blog

short article on travel

One of the funny adventure stories that I have is from the time I found a 5-month housesit in the middle of the French countryside. It sounded idyllic, and perfect for me and my girlfriend at the time who had just started out as digital nomads. 

In reality, it wasn’t quite as idyllic as advertised. The biggest issue was the lack of internet; something which was supposed to have been installed by the time we arrived. But, we made do. We bought French sim cards with 3 GB of internet each (the max we could get at the time) and vowed never to look at YouTube or anything that might use lots of data for the entire 5 months.

It was all going perfectly until one day there was a knock at the door and two local French policemen were standing there. They began asking us what we were doing on the property and where the owners were. In the best French, I could manage, I explained the concept of house-sitting but I could see it wasn’t going over. 

Then, they showed us a picture of a girl who was missing. We hadn’t seen her and, in fact, didn’t know anyone in the town. We apologized that we couldn’t be of more help, thinking that was that. 

It wasn’t. One of the policemen then pulled out a printout of a forum conversation between the missing girl and someone who they believed was her biological father. Then in the forum conversation, they showed me a mobile number: my French mobile number. 

I didn’t know how to explain it apart from to say that it must be a typo, but that wasn’t good enough. They asked to see my computer and began looking through the search history. Then, obviously not buying my house sitting story, they asked where the owners were again.  

Unsatisfied, they told me to come into the station that afternoon for more questioning at 2 pm. I didn’t know what to do. There wasn’t enough time to find a lawyer or even a translator as they would probably have had to come from the nearest city. I opened Google Translate and tried to come up with as many useful sentences as I could, but it was hard to concentrate. 

At 2 pm on the dot I walked through the doors of the police station and when the policeman saw my worried face he burst out laughing. “Lucky for you, she showed up,” he said. And that, amazingly, was the end of that. I’ve never heard any more about this again. 

Lifechanging Short Travel Stories

Stepping out of a comfort zone in dubai.

by Michaela from Awe Inclusive blog


In 2014, I was scrolling through a Facebook group when I spotted a post claiming $200 roundtrip tickets to Duba (btw if you want to save on your next trip, check out this trip com coupon ). As is routine in that group, I confirmed the deal, checked my calendar, and booked tickets – no asking friends, no waiting for job approvals, and no overthinking. It would be my first trip alone.

I met Jibri during the layover. She got my attention and started chatting about travel deals and groups. During our small talk, I considered putting my earphones back in or making up a reason to excuse myself. Instead, I decided to embrace a new person and see where it could lead.

Not only did we exchange contact information to meet-up in Dubai, but we joined other travel group members who rented out a yacht for an afternoon cruise along the Persian Gulf.

It was totally outside of my comfort zone and totally what my comfort zone needed – to be stretched out of shape! I met amazing people and forged exciting friendships.

Dubai was life-changing. I learned to trust my abilities and instincts even when I had to improvise. I learned that strangers are just friends who haven’t met you. Most importantly, I learned that my suitcase was much lighter when I didn’t fill it with fear.

This year, I took a solo trip to Thailand and it was the absolute best. More solo trips are in my future as I continue to challenge myself to get uncomfortable and do more than I thought I could.

See also: Best travel stories from Thailand .

Beautiful Travel Friendship

by Viki from Chronic Wanderlust blog


I’ve been in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a few weeks now for my divemaster training. I spent every day in the water with customers and my instructor. I loved it! We shared the boat with another dive shop and I started to notice that they were also training a divemaster to be.

She seamed to be my age and so I started talking to her. Janice is from Canada and also madly in love with the ocean and all things diving. We started to hang out more and more and even became very good friends then.

She left Mexico a few days before I left, but we managed to stay in touch. For almost two years now we talk several times a week, she helped me through many things as a stupid breakup.

Last year I told her I was going back to Mexico for a few weeks and if she wanted to meet me there. She told me that she couldn’t manage with work. I had wanted to see her so badly! And I knew she wanted to be in sunny Mexico with me as well.

I remember the 30th of December when she told me that she had just bought the ticket and will be in Mexico the next day! I was beyond happy, I was going to see my best friend again. I was going to see her for the second time in my life and yet she knows more about me than any other person that I see more often.

I love how friendships can last over distance and time zones. Meeting Janice is definitely one of the best solo travel stories that I have.

Best Adventure Travel Stories

Hawaii adventure.

by Carole from Berkeley and Beyond blog


Even though I have many short stories about traveling the world, I want to share the one from Hawaii. I’ll never forget the time I landed on the remote Hawaiian island of Molokai and was told, “We have a wedding and two funerals on the island, and so we have run out of cars.” It was at about the same time as a popular movie with a similar title was out, so the statement had a humorous overtone.

However, since this was hang-loose Hawaii , I was assured by a mellow employee that all would work out and so there was really nothing I could do but relax into it. The car agency arranged for (and paid for) a cab to deliver us to our condo so we could check-in, and told us that the next morning someone would pick us up and deliver us to the mule ride.

Done, though we did almost miss our morning ride due to confusion regarding the meeting spot, but the point is we didn’t  miss it, and we were told by that driver that our car would be waiting in the parking lot for us after our ride.

And there it was! Pure Molokai magic.

Visiting A Real Quechua Village

by Gabor from Surfing the Planet blog

Quechua family in a village in the mountains of The Andes over Ollantaytambo, Peru

Although Machu Picchu is simply indescribable, it turned out that a totally improvised adventure left a much stronger mark on us. When we were staying at a Couchsurfer’s place in Cusco, we asked him whether it would be possible to visit a real Quechua village.

He said we could try, although we would have to find it out ourselves since these Quechua communities live quite far in the Andes and there’s no public transport to get there.

In the end, we got very lucky, since looking for transport in Ollantaytambo, we found out that the local doctor and other social workers were going to visit some of these tribes and they let us join them.

We were really happy because we had the chance to stay in a Quechua community, learn about their traditions, see the colorful clothes they wear every day and take part in their daily routine for some time. We often had to use hand gestures to communicate, since most of these people don’t speak Spanish, only Quechua. This is one of our most interesting travel stories and a real heart-warming experience that we will never forget.

Funny Short Travel Stories

Mistaking a brothel for a massage spa in china.

by Talek from Travels With Talek blog

short article on travel

Ah… cultural confusion.  One weekend I was in a part of Beijing I was not familiar with and decided to get a massage.  I remembered what appeared to be a massage spa nearby. The location didn’t look exactly like a typical spa, but I went in anyway.

The inside of the location had all the spa-like features which reassured me.  However, when the hostess approached me, she appeared apprehensive and asked me something in Chinese. I pantomimed a massage.  She disappeared into a dark room behind a beaded curtain. I could hear her and another woman speaking animatedly.

After some uncomfortable moments, the woman returned and lead me to a dimly lit, rectangular room with a massage table in the middle. I positioned myself as I normally would. A different woman came in and gave me a lackadaisical massage for about an hour. I paid and went back to my hotel.

The next day my colleagues and I discussed our weekend. I mentioned my massage at a location next to the Wanda department store. “Oh! That’s a high-end brothel” they said. They’re probably still laughing.

Crazy Travel Stories

Free helicopter ride.

by Kris From Nomad By Trade

short article on travel

My favorite travel story is from a business trip I took to a small town in Kentucky. One morning, my co-worker noticed that there was a helicopter parked out on the hotel’s lawn, which we thought was odd but pretty cool.

That week, we ended up befriending the helicopter’s pilot and his wife and talking to them at breakfast and the evening periods of light snacks.

He somehow offered to take us up for a free ride, so one morning before work, we each took a turn hopping in his helicopter and flying up and over town. He banked, dipped, and shot up to the sky like a rocket during our jaunt through the Kentucky skies.

I still find it funny that I wouldn’t get in a car with a stranger, but I had no qualms about hopping in a helicopter with one. I’ve been traveling on an almost weekly basis for work for six years and that’s still one of the coolest things that I’ve gotten to do on the road.

My Birthday In A Private Castle Near Prague

short article on travel

Crazy Flight With A Hyperactive Child

by Alexis from World Travel Adventurers blog


We’ve had our fair share of unforgettable and funny travel stories as parents traveling with a spirited 2-year-old and 4 years old, but this one still takes the cake. We think every parent who has ever flown with young children can relate.

We were on our way home from Salt Lake City to Baltimore, which is a 5-hour flight, so my husband had the brilliant (or so he thought) idea to sedate our energizer bunny son (whose nicknames include Taz, tornado, hurricane, wrecking ball, the destroyer) to make the long flight easier.

Having a wild toddler restricted to a seat for 5 hours is no fun for anyone, but a sleeping toddler sounded much more appealing.

We had given him Benadryl before when he was sick and it put him right to sleep like a charm, so we thought we were in the clear. It turns out, some kids have the opposite reaction to Benadryl and turn into hell on wheels.

Well, our son turned into that kid. I think everyone on the flight, especially the person sitting in front of him, wanted to kill him or at least put him in a straightjacket and a muzzle. The flight attendant, who used to be a nanny, could tell early on that something was up and had a hunch it was from Benadryl gone wrong.

In the midst of his craziness, I took him to the bathroom at the front of the plane to change his diaper. When we headed back to our seats, he took off running down the aisle full speed ahead. He was so fast and agile (being much smaller than me and able to maneuver through the narrow aisle like a star football player) that I couldn’t catch up to him until he had run the entire length of the plane.

My husband said he saw a flash go by his seat, and then saw me running after yelling my son’s name. He thought it was hilarious. I did not. We can both laugh about it today and will NEVER make that mistake again.

So to all my fellow parents of traveling youngsters, beware and never use Benadryl for a stress-free flight unless you’ve tested it a few times and are sure that your child will not turn into a Tasmanian devil. Unless you want to add something to your funny holiday stories collection, then go for it.

Meeting The President Of Ecuador

by Dane from Holiday From Where blog

Best travel stories ever

My best travel story is from a time I was in a small city called Salinas on the south coast of Ecuador . I was just hanging with a local friend and surfing every day before I started to head north. I kept hearing about this wave that was really good and you couldn’t surf because you had to sneak through an air force base to get to.

One day my friend was telling me it was going to be really good, so, we decided to try and sneak in. In hindsight, it was really stupid. We were crawling on our hands and knees through some bushes on the bad side of a shooting range while they were actively shooting. We made it to the beach got changed and ran for the ocean.

We were in the water for all of 15 minutes when two large me with AK-47s appeared on the beach and started to yell and whistle. We got a few more waves and went in. The men were extremely un-impressed and very angry.

We knew we were doing the wrong thing but obviously played dumb. As we were about to get dragged off a man and his wife came over a small dune and just walked up to us. The man asked us how our day was and if we had a good surf we replied we did and he just smiled at us and walked off.

As he did my friend informed me that it was the President. Everything happened so fast and in no time we were in the back of a military vehicle being taken to a small building. I was out a short time later with a stern warning never to return. 

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Share your best travel story in the comments below!

72 Responses

Love it! Thanks for including our story. Traveling opens you up to so many incredible (sometimes hilarious) experiences so it’s great to hear about other memorable moments from fellow travel addicts!

It’s our pleasure, Alexis! Your story is great, thanks for sharing it :)

Pinoy TV is one of the few international channels that provide high-quality entertainment.

These stories are great. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Thanks for the inspiration Karolina! Traveling the world is something I’ve always wanted to do, but have found it hard to make the leap.

Hey Karolina,

Very inspiring travel stories! Makes me want to book a flight now and create an amazing travel story ever told! ;) There is nothing more gratifying than traveling, yes you spend but you learn more. Been to many places and every story is just different and amazing!

These stories are inspiring and it makes me want to travel more. Cheers!

Some amazing stories in there! It’s amazing what opportunities can present themselves when you are travelling abroad.

There’s some incredible stories in there. It’s amazing to see what opportunities can present themselves to you when you are travelling abroad. We’ve got a lot of great memories and stories from our time abroad, can’t wait to get even more!

Getting arrested in China must have been an exciting experience. Luckily, no jail. So happy end.

Thanks for the inspiration Karolina!……,! great story

Glad I enjoyed the post! Thanks for sharing this.

You’re welcome!

The only way to achieve happiness is to cherish what you have and forget what you don’t have

I really liked reading your post! Very high quality content and useful information. With such a valuable blog I believe you deserve to be ranking even higher in the search engines.

Thanks for your comment, Maria.

Wow, interesting crazy stories! good stuff!

Incredible stories. Frankly, I envy people who travel freely, I hope that I succeed.

Such a kind of knowledge give by this stories.

Much Appreciated! Get your travel and tourism guide of top tourist places, attractions about travelling and exploration of the world.

Hey really Incredible stories.Appreciated your blog.Such interesting travel story.The details are very informative.I also love to travel.This stories inspires me to travel to my dream place.Looking forward to see more from you.

Thanks for your comment!

I’ve got no idea what I’d do if a snake lunged at me while on a scooter! Hopefully, I’d have the commonsense to hit the accelerator and keep going. Even non-poisonous snakes can be dangerous. And I’m guessing that the snake ended up as someone’s dinner or that seems be have been implied :/.

I also love to travel the world. Your story inspires me a lot

Your travel stories are awesome. I love to travel to other countries and experience every culture.

Wow, interesting crazy stories! good .

thanks for sharing this info superb

Wow this is very interesting and amazing article for all travellers and I hope they will get lots of information from this article. It will also helpful for all beginners. Thanks for sharing this article to us..

Hey, it’s amazing way for our time . Thanks for sharing.

These short travel stories always teach me something new.

Its really amazing post for me. Thanks for sharing

Excellent post with rich knowledge for travelers. Thanks for sharing

Amazing stories! Thank you so much for sharing them. As a traveler it is exciting to hear new stories. It certainly makes you want to go out and travel again.

It was nice to be inspired by you, Karolina! Although I have always dreamed about traveling the world, I have struggled to make this step because it seems so risky.

Hey, I think it’s a great way to spend our time these days. That’s great that you shared that with us.

I love your all content keep share with us, keep shared with us.

thanks for sharing this info, superb article

I have been wondering where to travel across Europe. And getting exposed to this amazing stories has energised my travelling plans and the countries to visit. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonder and useful stories. Looking forward for more stories.

I am really happy with the quality and presentation of the article. Thanks a lot for keeping great stuff.

Travelling is one of the best way to create memorable stories.

What a great idea for a post and a wonderful collection of stories!

Thank you for this great sharing!

Thank god! The housesitter did not have to go to a Chinese prison. The whole incident was quite amusing.

Thanks for this site i like it.

Article was very lovely and all stories are great

All stories are lovely and amazing.

There is no better way to create memorable stories than by traveling.

Traveling is one of the ways to create and be a part of stories. The travel stories in the blog are all interesting. I have also read stories on how travelers are set up by placing drugs in their luggage at airports.

Yeah however I am not sure if it’s true.

Thanks! i loved this site thanks for recommending.

Excellent post with rich knowledge for travelers.


Such a great post thanks for sharing this with us and keep posting these are soo amazing.

There is no better way to create memorable stories than by traveling. :)

thank you so much

Thank you. you have explained almost everything.

Great post.Thanks for sharing. You have explained almost everything.

all the stories shared are good and well explained.

Thanks for sharing this article it was quite insightful.

Thanks for sharing such information. I appreciate your hard work

Great post, Thanks for the information provided! Your post is so awesome. Keep it work and share your amazing post with us. Thanks again!

Thanks a lot for sharing this post. Your travel story is so amazing.

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks!

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'Slow Travel' Might Be The Key To A Better Vacation. Here's What It Is.

Senior Reporter, HuffPost Life

In the rush of day-to-day life, we don’t always have the opportunity to slow down and move at our own pace. Even on vacation, there’s an urge to visit, do and taste as many things as possible in a new destination or multiple destinations.

“I’ve heard countless times how exhausted people are when they come back from their vacation and feel like they ‘need a vacation from their vacation,’ and that’s because many times we pack so much into a very short amount of time,” said travel blogger Esther Susag . “We want to see everything, do everything, and not waste a minute.”

There is, however, another approach to globetrotting that many seasoned tourists recommend: slow travel. But what exactly is slow travel, and how do you take full advantage of this kind of trip? Below, travel experts break it down.

What exactly is slow travel?

“Slow travel is about quality over quantity,” said Phil Dengler, a co-founder of travel information site The Vacationer . “It is also about immersing yourself in the local culture. Traditional vacations often involve seeing as many things as possible in a short time. While there is nothing wrong with that, it can feel very superficial. It can also feel overwhelming and not like the ideal relaxing vacation.”

As the name suggests, slow travel generally entails slowing down and savoring each moment, rather than rushing to check off bucket list items.

“Slow travel may mean different things to different travelers, but I define it as staying in one place for longer and going deeper into the local culture,” said Paul Jacobs, general manager and vice president of Kayak North America. “It’s taking the time to make real connections with locals versus jam-packing a schedule full of tours. It’s staying in Kyoto at a Ryokan instead of city hopping throughout Asia.”

He believes slow travel is becoming increasingly popular and pointed to data that shows the length of hotel stays is already up 10% in 2023 compared to last year. Still, slow travel doesn’t necessarily require long stays in one place.

“For me, slow traveling isn’t necessarily about the number of days you are spending in a place,” said travel blogger Sean Lau . “You can slow travel with just a few days or with a few months ― it all depends on the level of connection you would like with your destination, allowing you to gain a deeper appreciation of the culture and understand the local environment better.”

For travel expert and author La Carmina , slow travel is a meditative approach to traveling that allows people to stop and smell the roses ― quite literally.

“It’s about being fully present in the moment and experiencing the sights, sounds and sensations around you without distraction ― letting the experience unfold at its own pace and without expectations,” she said. “To me, slow travel doesn’t have a strict definition or certain mandatory elements, such as using slower modes of transport or sticking to a single city or country for a certain amount of time, but rather is about the compassionate awareness one brings to being a visitor in a destination.”

Slow travel is a more mindful approach to tourism that fosters deeper connections.

What are the benefits of slow travel?

“When you travel at a slower pace and not so rushed, you naturally immerse yourself in the culture and place that you’re in and really try to get to know it on a more personal level,” Susag said.

“You talk with more locals and do more ‘off the beaten path’ activities, and not just things you see on Trip Advisor,” she added. “Also, when you do start to talk with the locals more, usually they want you to have the best experience and will show you some of their favorite spots which naturally leads to a more immersive and personal experience.”

Getting to know locals and their culture and lifestyle more intimately and authentically will create rewarding experiences and memories you can carry with you long after your return home. You may even make deep connections and friendships that lead you to return in the future.

“If you want to really unplug and relax without the stresses of traveling then slow travel may be for you,” said Mark Wolters, the creator of the popular YouTube travel channel Wolters World . “You get to unpack your suitcases less, take fewer planes, trains and automobiles and just relax in a destination.”

He noted that slow travel is excellent for practicing foreign language skills, as there are more opportunities for meaningful conversations with locals.

“If you are traveling with children, slow travel is a good way to introduce them to international travel and getting them to see the differences in cultures,” Wolters noted. “When your kids are playing at the local playground with other children they see that there are not too many differences between themselves and the kids in this new country you are visiting.”

He said his children have also learned how to make pupusas in El Salvador, pasta in Italy, and sandwiches in Portugal because the family likes to return to the same eateries and make connections with the people working there.

“There is nothing like going back to the same restaurant a few times and the waiters and owners start to see you as a friend instead of a tourist looking for a quick bite to eat,” Wolters said. “Slow travel also gives your family a chance to focus on spending time together doing tourist activities, but also just being together as a family instead of just trying to get in as many museums as possible.”

There are practical upsides to this approach to travel as well.

“I love slow traveling for its environmental benefits,” Lau said. “By staying in one location for longer periods of time, there are fewer carbon emissions associated with transportation such as flights and buses.”

In addition to less transit between destinations, slow travel also tends to entail fewer car rides within a single destination due to fewer activities. Travelers can also feel less rushed in getting one place to another and take public transit instead. You may opt to stay away from the touristy city center and save money on accommodations as well.

“Slow travel is often more cost-effective than traditional travel since you are not doing as many things as possible,” Dengler said. “It is also more relaxing since you are not always worrying about the next item on your itinerary.”

There are environmental and financial benefits to slow travel as well.

How can you maximize the slow travel experience?

There’s no one right way to engage in slow travel, but there are some helpful factors to keep in mind if you want to maximize the experience.

“Your to-do list should be very short or nonexistent,” Dengler said. “Either come with a plan to spend most of your time at only a few locations or take recommendations from locals on the fly. When visiting a spot or destination, you should aim to understand its meaning as opposed to just checking it off your list. In most cases, you will have to spend more time than usual, but you should come away with a much deeper understanding.”

Resist the temptation to see every sight and eat every dish in one or two days. It’s not about rushing around to check off the boxes of attractions.

“Spread out your tourist visits over a longer period of time,” Wolters said. “This way you can spend your morning at a café, then midday at a museum, then the afternoon and early evening at a park reading your favorite book, instead of seeing two museums in the morning and one in the afternoon and then a theater show at night with a ghost tour at midnight .”

His family frequently tries to take local cultural classes, like a painting or cooking class. In addition to learning more about the art or cuisine, you can ask the instructor additional questions and learn more about the area.

“In the era of remote work, it’s become easier to engage in slow travel,” noted Jessica van Dop DeJesus, the founder and editor of food and travel blog The Dining Traveler . “For example, spending more than a week in a destination and taking the time to walk around lesser-known neighborhoods, frequenting a cafe or restaurant several times, and attending a sporting or cultural event that’s important to those living in that location.”

Consider staying in an independent boutique hotel or vacation rental away from the typical touristy spots to get a sense of where locals live. Take advantage of the quiet and relaxation you can’t find in the typical crowded areas as well.

“One of my favorite ways to experience slow travel is by renting a villa by the beach,” La Carmina said, recalling a recent trip to Tulum . “Rather than being in a busy and commercial resort, I enjoyed peaceful days with only the sounds of the ocean near my doorstep. I had a fully stocked kitchen, so I could simply relax in my warm surroundings without feeling pressure to go out or sightsee. Some days were spent lounging in the modern villa’s pool, or meandering to the nearby beach.”

If you’re staying in a destination that lacks strong public transit infrastructure or you simply want to explore a little farther afield, renting a car can offer the opportunity to move at your own pace.

“Pull over and enjoy the scenic overlooks and don’t be afraid to take detours and stray off the beaten path when traveling,” said David Woody, country development and travel expert at SIXT .

You may even plan a leisurely paced road trip as a form of slow travel.

“Many travelers are now choosing to drive to destinations instead of flying as part of the slower travel movement, which offers them more flexibility to enjoy the journey as well as the destination,” Woody said. “We recommend mapping out your route and the legs you want to drive per day but only book the first two or three nights of accommodation to remain flexible should your route or timing change.”

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'No one plans on security issues' while traveling: How to stay safer on your trip

The frenetic summer travel season is a fading memory. The pandemic lockdowns and masking requirements are history. So is it finally – finally – safe to get out there and travel?

Maybe, maybe not. Experts say travel is still fraught with danger, and you could quickly find yourself in trouble. 

There are still threats, including an uptick in COVID-19 cases and several geopolitical dust-ups. But the biggest threat is – well, you .

“The mistake travelers make is believing the biggest security risk is some external force," said Adam Bardwell, a former U.S. Army Green Beret and a security operations supervisor at Global Rescue . "In reality, the biggest security risk travelers face is their poor planning, lack of knowledge about the location and ignoring indications of danger.” 

Check out Elliott Confidential , the newsletter the travel industry doesn't want you to read. Each issue is filled with breaking news, deep insights, and exclusive strategies for becoming a better traveler. But don't tell anyone!

Learn more: Best travel insurance

You don't have to look far for recent examples. Just last month, a British tourist died after trying to climb the Stairway to Heaven in Dachstein, Austria. It's a 131-foot ladder suspended in midair over a deep gorge. I grew up near Austria's Alps, and if there's one thing I know about those mountains, it's that you can't be too careful.

Earlier this summer, another British man (I'm sure that's a coincidence) died after trying to drink every cocktail on the menu at his hotel's pool bar in Jamaica. The resort serves beverages with names like the Club Stinger and Kamikaze, which should have been enough warning. 

I'm not bringing up these incidents to embarrass anyone, only to say that you can enjoy the thrill of climbing the Alps or chilling with a cold one by the pool without dying. It just takes a little planning and some common-sense precautions.

Revenge travel was sweet, but what happens next could turn your vacation sour

Hidden costs: Airlines are hiding the cost of air travel. Now the government wants to help them.

Is it safe to travel now?

Probably, but there's a giant asterisk next to that answer.

A quick scan of the State Department Travel Advisories suggests that the usual suspects for international travel are relatively safe. Popular countries for American visitors, such as England, France and Italy, are all good to go, according to the government. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're safe for you.

John Gobbels, chief operating officer of the air medical transport and travel security program at Medjet , said hotspots can sometimes flare up faster than the government can keep track of them. 

"Growing political tension between China and Taiwan, and the Ukraine-Russia conflict potentially expanding, definitely has people traveling to Asia and Eastern Europe this fall on edge," he said. "The riots in France, protests across Central and South America, earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and Christmas market tragedies past don’t help traveler confidence either."

Even if you avoid all those places, travel is still risky, he said, adding that you could go someplace perfectly safe only to get sick. That's more of a problem now than it was this summer.

"We're already seeing our usual fall bump in calls from members hospitalized with respiratory issues," he said, "and this will only increase the rest of 2023 and early 2024."

What if you're traveling domestically? The State Department doesn't rate U.S. travel safety, but Canada and the U.K. do. You can visit Canada's travel advisory site to find out how dangerous traveling in the States is (and it is ). The U.K. advice is deeply troubling ("Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the USA.") 

What kind of precautions should you take before you travel?

This is no time to let down your guard, experts say. 

“It’s a good idea to dial up your usual safety precautions when traveling,” said Christina Tunnah, general manager of marketing and brands at World Nomads .

Here's a short list:

◾ Research your destination carefully . Plan your itinerary to avoid any dangerous places and activities.

◾ Ensure all your routine and travel vaccinations are current, especially if you're traveling abroad.

◾ Buy adequate travel insurance and a medical evacuation membership like Medjet or Global Rescue .

◾ Have a plan B in case something goes wrong. Carry a list of emergency contacts and discuss the game plan with your travel companions in the event something goes wrong.

Of all these, the most overlooked may be careful planning. Consider what happened to Daniela Shields, whose daughter Alli was an exchange student in Hong Kong in 2019. When she bought a Global Rescue membership for Alli, she had no way of knowing that her daughter would be caught in the violent protests. But when the demonstrations started, Alli knew where to turn. Global Rescue quickly arranged for Alli to fly back home and out of harm's way.

"No one plans on security issues when they travel," said Shields, an endodontist from Paducah, Kentucky. "When it happens, you need to know how to get help."

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How to stay safe when you travel

I love reading other travel stories that claim they can keep you safe when you travel with a few easy tips. What nonsense! 

Travel will always be dangerous, to a certain extent. Even the safest places can be problematic. Tourists die or disappear in countries with sterling reputations. 

But there are things you can do to mitigate the risk. Narendra Khatri, principal of Insubuy , said he's seen more travelers asking for extra safety features on their policies, like telehealth and lost passport assistance. 

"We’re also seeing more interest in standalone kidnap and ransom insurance, particularly for high net worth individuals," he said. "Many customers who feel they are at risk or traveling to a part of the world where abductions are possible can get a little extra peace of mind with this coverage."

That's sound advice. Double-check your travel insurance policy to make sure it covers everything that could go wrong.

But most importantly, don't be the problem. You can travel more safely by planning for trouble. Don't assume that travel is safe just because the summer crowds have thinned and the lockdowns are a distant memory. 

Because travel is not completely safe, and it never will be. Take it from me, someone who is on the road 365 days a year.

"Remember," said Angela Borden, a product strategist of Seven Corners , "anything can happen when you're traveling."

Do you know about the gift scam? No one is safe from the newest tourism swindles

Taking a trip this fall? Here's the one travel tip you should follow

Elliott's strategies for staying safer

◾ Focus on your health : Fall is a time to double down on your health – and especially this fall. "It's essential to consider the heightened risks associated with the colds and the flu," said Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO of VisitorsCoverage , an insurance marketplace. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are also rising, so consider taking common-sense precautions like getting vaccinated, masking up on the plane and packing hand sanitizer.

◾ Stay connected : One of the biggest mistakes travelers make is turning off their cell phone's wireless plan when they're abroad to save a buck, said Katie Crowe, a spokeswoman for travel Insurer battleface. "Making sure you're connected is critical for safety," she said. The workaround? A better connection. Battleface recently teamed up with eSIM company Celitech to allow customers to buy and install an eSIM within their mobile devices through a QR code activation. 

◾ Know who to call when you run into trouble : Few travelers plan for the worst, even after years of the pandemic. "Who is going to help you at 2:30 in the morning when something goes wrong?" asked John Rose, chief risk and security officer at ALTOUR. It can be your travel adviser, travel insurance company, or medical membership. (And while we're at it, you should sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program if you're leaving the country. That way, if something goes wrong, the nearest embassy or consulate can help you get home.)

Christopher Elliott  is an author, consumer advocate, and journalist. He founded  Elliott Advocacy , a nonprofit organization that helps solve consumer problems. He publishes  Elliott Confidential , a travel newsletter, and the  Elliott Report , a news site about customer service. If you need help with a consumer problem, you can  reach him here  or email him at  [email protected] .

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The last time we traveled as a family of 6, we spent $6000. I refuse to make the same mistake this summer.

  • I'm a mom of four kids and my family hadn't been on a real vacation for years until last year. 
  • For a five day vacation, we spent $6,000, and so this year we are staying local. 
  • I'm finding ways to keep the kids entertained, from picking themes to getting season passes. 

Insider Today

Last summer, my family of six went on vacation to a Florida beach . We hadn't been on a "real vacation" since before the pandemic. Despite having free flights by using credit card rewards, between the rental car, food (most of which we prepared and ate at the rental), and condo costs, as well as limiting our vacation to five days instead of a week, we dropped close to $6000.

Summer has barely started, and my social media feed is flooded with friends and family members' vacation pics . Unlike them, we will not be going on vacation this year.

Instead, we've figured out how to vacation from or close to home. Here are my tips for the families, like mine, who can't travel this summer .

Take advantage of local, outdoor fun

Along with your kids, research local nature centers, hiking or biking trails, and cool parks (splash pad, anyone?) in neighboring towns.

Getting out in nature is almost always free, exposes everyone to fresh air and sunshine, and allows for new adventures. Don't have bikes? Rent them. Need binoculars? Borrow them. I know, for example, that our local library offers loanable fishing poles to patrons.

Plan a staycation

What's the closest major city to your family? Find a hotel (with a pool, of course), research restaurants and entertainment spots and you've got a low-budget staycation.

Related stories

One year, we staycationed in St. Louis. We rented a large, historical home (it had a ballroom!) for less than $250 a night. It had a kitchen, so we had breakfast and lunch "at home" every day, and enjoyed dinner out at St. Louis-famous restaurants at night. We took our kids to the ever-popular City Museum. To this day, our kids still say this was their favorite vacation.

Pick a theme

What's something your family enjoys? Mine loves ice cream. A theme can set the mood for the summer, such as finding and trying ice cream shops. Decide how often your crew would like to embark on your themed-adventure and get some dates and places on the calendar.

Other theme ideas include sports, music, animals, movies, or art. Then plan your activities accordingly, out and about or at home.

Put ideas in a bowl and draw a surprise

Have each family member come up with closer-to-home activities. With parent approval, place ideas in a bowl. Once a week, draw an activity and do it. Ideas include seeing a movie, going to brunch, visiting a bookstore, enjoying a walking trail, packing a picnic, volunteering, visiting a family member. This can also be tasks like gathering and donating clothing, toys, and books.

Head to a family or friend's house

You know that one family member who is always telling you to come and stay anytime? Now is the time. Take them up on their offer to house your crew, just don't overstay your welcome. See their local sights and enjoy local restaurants. Clean up after yourselves, offer to buy dinner one night, and take the host a gift that's special to your geographical location: wine from a local winery, for example.

Get season passes

Season passes to a nearby theme park or kid-friendly museum or activity center can save you substantial money. For example, a theme park that is within an hour of our home offers season passes that would be paid for if our family of six visits the park just once during the entire summer (between admission tickets and parking).

Frame your summer fun planning as a positive, not as what you could be doing if you had more money and time. You "get" to do these things, an incredible opportunity. Set the tone for a family-fun summer, enjoying the process while saving money.

Watch: Marriott International's Tina Edmundson tells Insider that the travel mindset has changed since the pandemic

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India’s Travel Sector Has Recovered, But International Is Still a Pain Point

Bulbul Dhawan , Skift

July 4th, 2024 at 12:01 AM EDT

India is cementing its position as a significant source market for travel across the world. However, on its own turf, all is not well.

Bulbul Dhawan

India’s travel and tourism sector has recovered significantly, according to a new report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), but international travel spend in India continues to remain below pre-Covid levels. 

The WTTC report revealed:

  • The travel and tourism sector’s contribution to Indian GDP stood at INR 19.13 trillion ($230 billion) in 2023, nearly 10% increase over 2019 levels. 
  • Employment in the industry increased 8% to 43 million. 
  • Domestic tourist spending was INR 14.64 trillion ($175 billion) last year, up 15% from pre-Covid levels. 
  • International visitor spending was over 14% behind the 2019 levels. 

Key Role of Domestic Tourism

Consulting firm McKinsey and Company had earlier projected that India will become the fourth-largest domestic travel market in terms of spending by 2030.

Online travel agency EaseMyTrip co-founder Rikant Pittie agreed with the WTTC report. He said, “Domestic travel and the tourism sector, in recent times, has become the backbone of India’s economic growth, especially with the government’s focus on promoting India as an equivalent to a global destination.”

According to recent data from aviation analytics firm OAG, India is now the third-largest domestic aviation market, after the U.S. and China. India’s domestic air passenger traffic in 2023-24 also surpassed pre-Covid levels , 

Earlier this year, Hyatt Hotels CEO Mark Hoplamazian also spoke about his company’s focus on India, specifically its domestic travelers. “The country’s leisure travel market is primarily driven by Indians traveling within India and discovering the country,” he said .

“The Indian market started seeing a rebound since the end of last year with the leisure hotel segment leading the way. Especially post Covid, India inbound became the buzzword. Indian travelers also started finding India more appealing due to the joint effect of increased marketing efforts and high international airfares,” said Arindam C Bahel, general manager of The Fern Brentwood Resort, Mussoorie. 

2024 Outlook for Tourism in India

According to the WTTC report, the tourism industry in India is projected to be ahead of 2019 by the end of this year across four metrics: Contribution to Indian economy, employment, domestic visitor spending, and international visitor spending.

It estimates that:

  • The sector will contribute almost INR 21.15 trillion ($253 billion) to India’s GDP in 2024. 
  • Jobs in the industry will increase by 2.45 million this year, equaling one in 11 jobs in India. 
  • International visitor spending will grow more than 17%. 
  • Domestic visitor spending will increase by nearly 10%.

There are risks to these projections, however: During the peak domestic travel period in summer, a record number of travelers left due to the heatwave in North India . The extreme weather condition also led to a nearly 40% decline in sale of inbound flights in May from April 2024.

Pain Points

Despite these strong projections from WTTC, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts managing director Ajay Bakaya has shared a different perspective. 

“2023 was a phenomenal year. Our domestic tourists went up everywhere we were operating. We have seen changes in 2024. We had a really good first quarter from January to March, and April witnessed reasonable growth. But we have some places that have seen a decline in May and June. It could be the elections, but the results were far below expectations and budgets,” he said, adding that he hopes for it to be a short-term blip. 

Bakaya also shared that while the overall tourism sector in India has been performing well, the picture is not so favorable for hill stations. “All across Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, tourism this year has been below 2022 and 2023 levels. The reason is that our outbound travel is now healthier and stronger due to more options, easier visas, and more economical flights.” 

He believes that in the long-term hill stations will go back to pre-Covid levels of reasonable business, but won’t witness a booming business. Goa, he explained, is also not seeing the growth that it should as probably the top tourism destination in India. “So, the picture is very good and very positive, but it is not all hunky dory. We’ll have some challenges before we scale the peak,” he said. 

Meanwhile, international inbound is lagging. And India has slashed its global tourism promotion budget by 97% .

Bakaya said, “We’re all pinning our hopes on what happens starting October 2024 (the inbound tourism season in India), but so far we have seen very little inbound travel. It has been disappointing.”

Skift India Report

India is booming. Discover the subcontinent’s most important travel news here every Tuesday-Thursday.

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Tags: domestic tourism , easemytrip , Hyatt Hotels , india , india outbound , india travel , international tourism , international travel , mark hoplamazian , sarovar hotels , tourism , Travel industry , Travel Trends , wttc

Photo credit: According to the WTTC report, the tourism industry in India will be ahead of 2019 by the end of 2024. Godson Bright / Pexels

An eVTOL on a helipad in New York City with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

Electric air taxis are on the way – quiet eVTOLs may be flying passengers as early as 2025

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Executive Director, Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education, Oklahoma State University

Disclosure statement

Jamey Jacob receives federal funding from NASA, FAA, EDA, NSF, DOD, and DHS. He is currently president and co-founder of USA-OK (Unmanned Systems Alliance of Oklahoma), the Oklahoma Chapter for AUVSI (Association of Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International).

Oklahoma State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

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Imagine a future with nearly silent air taxis flying above traffic jams and navigating between skyscrapers and suburban droneports . Transportation arrives at the touch of your smartphone and with minimal environmental impact.

This isn’t just science fiction. United Airlines has plans for these futuristic electric air taxis in Chicago and New York . The U.S. military is already experimenting with them . And one company has a contract to launch an air taxi service in Dubai as early as 2025. Another company hopes to defy expectations and fly participants at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Backed by billions of dollars in venture capital and established aerospace giants that include Boeing and Airbus, startups across the world such as Joby , Archer , Wisk and Lilium are spearheading this technological revolution, developing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that could transform the way we travel.

Electric aviation promises to alleviate urban congestion, open up rural areas to emergency deliveries, slash carbon emissions and offer a quieter, more accessible form of short-distance air travel.

Two style of eVTOL, both with propellers that lift them vertically, with New York Harbor in the background.

But the quest to make these electric aircraft ubiquitous across the globe instead of just playthings for the rich is far from a given. Following the industry as executive director of the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education provides a view of the state of the industry. Like all great promised paradigm shifts, numerous challenges loom – technical hurdles, regulatory mazes, the crucial battle for public acceptance and perhaps physics itself.

Why electrify aviation?

Fixed somewhere between George Jetson’s flying car and the gritty taxi from “The Fifth Element ,” the allure of electric aviation extends beyond gee-whiz novelty. It is rooted in its potential to offer efficient, eco-friendly alternatives to ground transportation, particularly in congested cities or hard-to-reach rural regions.

While small electric planes are already flying in a few countries , eVTOLs are designed for shorter hops – the kind a helicopter might make today, only more cheaply and with less impact on the environment. The eVTOL maker Joby purchased Uber Air to someday pair the company’s air taxis with Uber’s ride-hailing technology.

In the near term, once eVTOLs are certified to fly as commercial operations, they are likely to serve specific, high-demand routes that bypass road traffic. An example is United Airlines’ plan to test Archer’s eVTOLs on short hops from Chicago to O'Hare International Airport and Manhattan to Newark Liberty International Airport .

While some applications initially might be restricted to military or emergency use, the goal of the industry is widespread civil adoption, marking a significant step toward a future of cleaner urban mobility.

The challenge of battery physics

One of the most significant technical challenges facing electric air taxis is the limitations of current battery technology.

Today’s batteries have made significant advances in the past decade, but they don’t match the energy density of traditional hydrocarbon fuels currently used in aircraft . This shortcoming means that electric air taxis cannot yet achieve the same range as their fossil-fueled counterparts, limiting their operational scope and viability for long-haul flights. Current capabilities still fall short of traditional transportation. However, with ranges from dozens of miles to over 100 miles, eVTOL batteries provide sufficient range for intracity hops.

The quest for batteries that offer higher energy densities, faster charging times and longer life cycles is central to unlocking the full potential of electric aviation.

While researchers are working to close this gap, hydrogen presents a promising alternative , boasting a higher energy density and emitting only water vapor. However, hydrogen’s potential is tempered by significant hurdles related to safe storage and infrastructure capable of supporting hydrogen-fueled aviation. That presents a complex and expensive logistics challenge.

And, of course, there’s the specter of the last major hydrogen-powered aircraft. The Hindenburg airship caught fire in 1937, but it still looms large in the minds of many Americans.

Regulatory hurdles

Establishing a “ 4D highways in the sky ” will require comprehensive rules that encompass everything from vehicle safety to air traffic management . For the time being, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is requiring that air taxis include pilots serving in a traditional role. This underscores the transitional phase of integrating these vehicles into airspace, highlighting the gap between current capabilities and the vision of fully autonomous flights.

The journey toward autonomous urban air travel is fraught with more complexities, including the establishment of standards for vehicle operation, pilot certification and air traffic control. While eVTOLs have flown hundreds of test flights, there have also been safety concerns after prominent crashes involving propeller blades failing on one in 2022 and the crash of another in 2023. Both were being flown remotely at the time.

The question of who will manage these new airways remains an open discussion – national aviation authorities such as the FAA , state agencies , local municipalities or some combination thereof.

Creating the future

In the long term, the vision for electric air taxis aligns with a future where autonomous vehicles ply the urban skies, akin to scenes from “ Back to the Future .” This future, however, not only requires technological leaps in automation and battery efficiency but also a societal shift in how people perceive and accept the role of autonomous vehicles , both cars and aircraft, in their daily lives. Safety is still an issue with autonomous vehicles on the ground.

A view inside the cockpit. The controls look like two videogame joysticks with two monitors in between.

The successful integration of electric air taxis into urban and rural environments hinges on their ability to offer safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation.

As these vehicles overcome the industry’s many hurdles, and regulations evolve to support their operation in the years ahead, I believe we could witness a profound transformation in air mobility. The skies offer a new layer of connectivity, reshaping cities and how we navigate them.

  • Fossil fuels
  • Climate change
  • Electricity
  • Electrification
  • Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)

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Air Canada hits short sellers' radar as costs rise, travel demand weakens

Investors are forecasting a challenging summer for carriers

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Short sellers are targeting Canada’s biggest publicly traded airline as investors expect rising operational costs and weaker post-pandemic consumer demand to weigh on growth.

Air Canada hits short sellers' radar as costs rise, travel demand weakens Back to video

Air Canada ’s short interest as a percentage of float — a metric that measures how many traders sold shares compared to the total amount of stock available to trade — stood at nearly 19 per cent in early July, according to financial data firm S3 Partners LLC.

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This is more than double the 7.4 per cent rate a year earlier, signalling that investors expect shares to come under further pressure as Canadians allocate more of their pay to cover higher costs of living. It’s also the highest rate recorded since December 2021 when additional COVID-19 travel restrictions were imposed, sending the rate to nearly 21 per cent.

Shares of the Canadian airline operator are trading 4.7 per cent lower this year as economic and industry headwinds have taken their toll. The stock is also trading far below its pre-pandemic range, hitting a high of around $50.05 in November 2019.

“Canadian investors are concerned about a slowing Canadian economy and a potential increase in pilot pay once they negotiate their contract,” TD Cowen analyst Helane Becker said in an email.

Investors are forecasting a challenging travel season for airlines, with a lack of available aircraft and materials to make them as well as elevated inflation threatening to keep passengers away. While higher interest rates have brought inflation closer to its two per cent target, headline inflation quickened to 2.9 per cent in May, up from the 2.7 per cent a month earlier.

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Preliminary economic data from Statistics Canada also points to flatter growth ahead as the agency predicts gross domestic product rose 0.1 per cent in May, slower than the 0.3 per cent expansion a month earlier.

Geopolitical uncertainty also is weighing on travel demand, Royal Bank of Canada economist Claire Fan said. An RBC Economics report in June noted that while Canadian residents are taking more trips recently, demand for tourists visiting Canada still hovers 10 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Transat A.T. Inc., a tour operator and air carrier, is another publicly traded Canadian aerospace company that has come under pressure since the pandemic. Shares are down 86 per cent since January 2020, before COVID-19 travel restrictions were put in place. Air Canada’s stock has fallen 64 per cent since then.

Air Canada has dominated the Canadian airline market as the country’s largest air carrier, but further growth is being threatened by structurally higher labour costs and increased domestic competition . Its share of capacity is down to 48 per cent from roughly 54 per cent in 2019 as peers including WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Porter Airlines Inc. expand routes, according to Bloomberg Intelligence aerospace and defence analyst Francois Duflot.

“The domestic market is the biggest and most profitable market for Air Canada,” Duflot said. “Everybody is growing, and airlines are really sensitive to this kind of competition and pressure.”

And unlike most U.S. carriers, Air Canada has yet to work out a new labour agreement with its more than 5,000 pilots. The two sides let a negotiated framework with a mediator expire on June 1, setting the path for a possible strike vote during what’s expected to be a busy summer travel season. Labour expenses and fuel are the industry’s two biggest cost drivers.

Air Canada also could be a proxy for how analysts look at the Canadian airline industry as a whole. Morningstar Research Services LLC’s aerospace and defence analyst Nicolas Owens recently argued that most North American airline stocks are overvalued and Air Canada’s lagging performance isn’t particularly unique.

Air Canada, like other airlines, is expected to experience a return to pre-pandemic travel demand, Owens said. “It’s just this dip and rebound that we’re seeing now,” he said.

—With assistance from Geoffrey Morgan.

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6 Beaches to Love This July 4 (and All Summer Long)

From Hawaii to Rhode Island, here are some of our favorite shores on which to enjoy some hard-earned R & R this Independence Day holiday.

People frolic on a coastline whose shore grows with wild grasses. The sky and the water are a tranquil blue.

By The New York Times

Perhaps you already have a favorite beach — one where already you know how to nab a free parking space, where the best shady spot is and when the soft-serve truck makes its rounds.

If you’re looking to mix it up this July 4, or throughout the summer, here are six beach destinations around the United States to inspire a new adventure.

Keep in mind that AAA projects that this Independence Day holiday period will be a record breaker . Nearly 71 million people are expected to travel 50 or more miles from home between June 29 and July 7, including more than 60 million on the roads — so be safe and leave plenty of time for the drive.

Which U.S. beach do you think is unbeatable? Let us know in the comments (or protect your secret — we get it).

Discover a refreshing gem in Rhode Island

The next time you’re sitting in traffic, inching toward the Hamptons, Cape Cod or another congested beach hot spot, consider the virtues of South County, R.I. (known officially as Washington County). This gem of the Ocean State, with 100 miles of coastline, is two and a half hours from Manhattan and one and a half hours from Boston, and it requires no planes or ferries. Between the coastal communities of Watch Hill and Charlestown, 14 public beaches beckon.

Sprint down an epic dune to sparkling Lake Michigan

Racing down the Dune Climb, a 300-foot sand dune, is one of the most popular activities in a corner of northwest Michigan called Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Kids gallop and roll down, their squeals as high-pitched as the cries of the herring gulls overhead. At the bottom you’re sweaty and breathless — but awaiting you is shimmering, sapphire-blue Lake Michigan, endless as an ocean. Just be ready for the oxygen-sucking, slipping-and-sliding clamber back uphill.

Stroll and splash along a serene beach path on Maui

The Wailea Beach Path, which meanders along Maui’s southern coast, reflects the island’s almost contradictory personas: On one side of the path, opulent resorts flaunt swim-up bars and nightly torch-lighting ceremonies. A subtler drama unfolds on the opposite side, where native flora like honey-scented naio bushes, spiky hala trees and hibiscus blossoms flourish along the rocky shoreline. Cool off along the way with dips in the waves.

Take a loop to hidden Oregon beaches

West Coast road trippers who stick to U.S. 101, the main north-south coastal highway, miss out on something spectacular. The Three Capes Scenic Loop winds 40 miles along windswept cliffs, through towering forests of centuries-old Sitka spruce and past charming beaches, including those along Netarts Bay, home to a string of oyster farms.

Seek your “perfect beach” on Puerto Rico’s northern coast

Ever visited a beach so impossibly sublime, you fear it may not live up your fond memory of it? For the writer Mya Guarnieri, that superb stretch of golden sand was Punta Caracoles Beach (as it is listed on some maps) in Puerto Rico, about an hour’s drive west of San Juan. Her journey to rediscover it took her to several others on the island’s northern coast — including La Poza del Obispo, whose natural rock formation creates a crystal clear pool that is perfect for floating — that could become your perfect beach, too.

Pick your paradise along Florida’s 30A

The coast along State Road 30A — a 24-mile stretch of the Florida Panhandle — is famous for its soft “sugar sand,” pulverized quartz crystal washed downstream from Appalachia thousands of years ago. Dig your toes in at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, which offers three miles of undeveloped coast. Look for the sail-shaped dune rising 25 feet that gave the park its name. (Before swimming at beaches along 30A, visitors should check the beach for warning flags that may indicate dangerous conditions.)

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Open Up Your World

Considering a trip, or just some armchair traveling here are some ideas..

52 Places:  Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2024 list has all those elements, and more .

London:  A writer used Camille Pissarro’s paintings of suburban London and a “lost” railway as a lens for exploring the city’s history  — and settling an arcane mystery.

Dublin,:  While the Irish capital has become a more international hub, locals have made efforts to ensure what makes the city unique — its spirited personality and famed hospitality  — doesn’t get entirely swallowed up.

Norway:  Can A.I. devise a bucket-list vacation to the Scandinavian nation that checks all the boxes: culture, nature, hotels and transportation? We put three virtual assistants to the test .

The Berkshires:  A writer shares his favorite ways to experience the often-overlooked  Housatonic River in western Massachusetts.


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